Author Visits


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Bringing History to Life

How many times have you heard kids groan about history lessons? In this multimedia workshop, students get plugged in. Kelly shows a slideshow of images and shares how history inspired her books. Then, she takes kids on an inspiring tour of her writing process from story idea to publication. She gives them a peek at her first draft, revisions and engages them in discussing why particular editorial decisions were made. The session ends with a freedom song or spiritual, reading and Q&A.

Mine Your Life For Story Gold – A Writing Residency

In this five-day residency, Kelly uses the analogy of panning for gold to teach students that moments and memories offer inspiration for personal narratives. Through writing and discussion, students learn how to infuse their stories with heart, meaning, cohesion, voice and sensory detail. Through lessons on revision, they gain skills in strengthening and polishing their stories and giving constructive feedback to peers. The last day features readings and a celebration of the story each has written. 

From Sit-Ins to Marches: Children & Civil Rights

In this interactive performance, students learn the history behind two of Kelly's books: NEATE: Eddie's Ordeal and One Million Men and Me. They see pictures featuring young people involved in the Civil Rights Movement and the Million Man March, explore the process of turning an idea into a finished book, learn a freedom song and participate in an interactive reading.

*** Great program for students before a trip to Washington, DC.

Custom Workshops for Kids

Kelly can customize presentations or workshops for your class, community group, book club or church. She enjoys exploring history, celebrating family relationships and talking about how to write personal essays and picture book manuscripts.

2017-2018 Fees

Please contact Kelly at for information on scheduling and fees. For locations outside of the NC Triangle area, travel and lodging (if necessary) rates apply.

Book Orders

If you'd like signed copies of my books, you can order them through Quail Ridge Books and Music - 919-828-1588. Let them know how many copies you want and how you'd like them personalized.

If you would like to order directly from the publisher for Ellen's Broom, Tea Cakes for Tosh or Hope's Gift, call Penguin’s Author Appearance Order Processing Department at 866-206-5865. Schools and libraries are eligible for a 40% discount and the books are returnable.

To order directly from the publisher for One Million Men and Me and NEATE: Eddie's Ordeal, call  or email Just Us Books Director of Sales, Willie Hudson at 973-672-7701 or

You can also purchase copies of my books through online booksellers such as, and



At her first Georgia signing, Kelly autographs NEATE posters and copies of "Eddie's Ordeal" at South DeKalb Mall's Learning Tree Book Store.